Russian indicted for operating stolen credit card checking service
Denis Gennadievich Kulkov, a Russian national suspected of masterminding a profitable stolen credit card checking enterprise worth tens of millions of dollars, has been indicted by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
According to the indictment, Kulkov founded the underground portal Try2Check in 2005, which soon gained popularity among hackers involved in unlawful credit card trafficking. The suspect is thought to have amassed a stunning $18 million in bitcoin through this illegal operation. Kulkov took advantage of not just credit card customers and issuers, but also a major payment processing corporation in the United States. He supported the execution of fraudulent card checks by exploiting the payment processor’s hacked systems, worsening the effect of his illicit activity.
According to the DOJ, Try2Check handled millions of credit card checks each year, assisting large card merchants in making hundreds of millions of dollars in bitcoin earnings. During a nine-month period in 2018, the platform performed at least 16 million inspections. Furthermore, Try2Check executed at least 17 million tests over a 13-month period beginning in September 2021, demonstrating the massive magnitude of the operation.
Simultaneously, the US State Department announced a $10 million prize through the Transnational Organized Crime Rewards Program (TOCRP) in partnership with the US Secret Service. The prize is being given to anyone who can provide critical information that leads to the arrest of Kulkov, who is now residing in Russia.
Kulkov faces a potential term of 20 years in jail if convicted, emphasizing the gravity of the allegations against him. U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Patrick J. Freaney expressed thanks for worldwide law enforcement organizations’ collaboration, highlighting that the takedown of Try2Check had eliminated a substantial criminal business, preventing additional unlawful operations and profits.
Try2Check’s website was effectively dismantled following a concerted operation by the US government and foreign allies in Germany and Austria. The Austrian Criminal Intelligence Service worked with the German Federal Criminal Police Office (B.A. ), the German Federal Office for Information Security (B.S. ), and the French Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ) on the joint operation.
Try2Check catered for persons engaged in large-scale purchases and sales of stolen credit card data, allowing them to verify the cards’ authenticity and activation status. Notably, the platform was widely utilized on the dark web, including well-known marketplaces such as Joker’s Stash, where card testing was common.
The sources for this piece include an article in BleepingComputer.